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Huawei chiefs to scout NZ for technology opportunities

Updated: 2012-03-08 16:27


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WELLINGTON - Senior executives from Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei will come to New Zealand next week to assess opportunities for working with local information and communications technology (ICT) companies.

The team from Huawei headquarters in Shenzhen, led by vice president of global procurement Wu Kunhong, will visit Auckland and Wellington from March 11 to 15, meeting with New Zealand ICT leaders to see what they will offer, the company announced Thursday.

Responsible for all Huawei strategy sourcing activities, including supplier evaluation and qualification, supply performance management, business negotiation and supply relationship management, Wu also managed a commodity expert group with more than 300 buyers around the world.

"New Zealand is recognized worldwide as a leader in ICT technology and uptake, and the Huawei team is here to see the capability first hand and make a commercial assessment," Huawei New Zealand Chief Executive Arthur Zhang said in a statement.

The idea for the visit came out of a mission led by New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser to China last year and was a joint initiative led by New Zealand Information and Communication Technologies Group (NZICT), New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Huawei New Zealand.

"The seniority of the Huawei team on the visit is an indication of the strengthening relationship between Huawei and New Zealand and the regard with which the New Zealand ICT industry is held," said Zhang.

Several New Zealand ICT companies were already supplying Huawei with components and services, and the hope was that the visit would further grow the relationship, said Zhang.

NZICT aspired to help New Zealand technology businesses lift the country's export earnings significantly over the coming years, NZICT Chief Executive Candace Kinser said in the statement.

"Building on relationships and exploring global opportunities will be vital to fulfilling this aspiration and it's great to see Huawei taking a leading role," Kinser said.

Last month, Huawei secured a second major contract in the New Zealand government's scheme to bring ultrafast broadband (UFB) to most of the country.

Enable Networks, owned by the council in New Zealand's second city of Christchurch, announced that Huawei New Zealand would supply the fiber equipment for the city's UFB network, and for services to manage operations and maintenance.

The "multi-million-dollar contract" covered the provision of all network equipment, including fiber ducting, fiber optic cables and open access layer two, or "bitstream," network solutions.

Huawei would also provide service expertise for the 3,500-km UFB network across Christchurch and neighboring Waimakariri and Selwyn districts, said a statement from the two companies.

Huawei also won a similar contract late last year to build the UFB network in the Hamilton-Central North Island region and supply optical equipment, including micro tube ducting and optical fiber cables, as well as open access Ethernet network solutions.